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  • The Noor Brand Index: Brands that appeal to Muslim consumers

    In the eyes of Muslim consumers – a global segment estimated at 1.8 billion people – how friendly are global brands to their needs? This is a question that we at Ogilvy Noor set out to answer.

    Our findings are published in the Noor Brand Index, a first-of-its-kind study into Muslim consumer attitudes towards global brands. And the results might surprise many. For the very first time, there is a benchmark of the appeal of  specific brands to Muslim consumers.

    The Ogilvy Noor Brand Index ranks 35 global brands from within five categories: beverages, food and dairy, personal care, financial services, and aviation industries.

    The index asked 2,500 Muslim consumers in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, and Malaysia – countries considered majority-Muslim markets – to rank brands on a 100-point index that is based on agreement with the statement “This brand is completely halal or Shariah-compliant.”

    Lipton, Nestle, and Nescafe received scores above 120, with Lipton reporting the highest brand score at 131. Global brands like Kraft, Pringles, and 7-Up were also ranked in the top 10. The majority of the financial services and airlines brands that were surveyed, including Citibank, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, and HSBC, reported some of the lowest scores on the index.

    Brands can take away significant learnings fom this index, and we highlight three of them here:

    - Origin matters less than sincerity: Despite popular misconception, in the consumer’s eyes an Islamic brand does not have to originate in a Muslim country, as the highest scoring brands like Nestle and Lipton go to show. Genuine empathy and understanding, demonstrated through all aspects of the brand’s behaviour, are much more important than place of origin to today’s Muslim consumers.

    - Physical, everyday usage makes halal non-negotiable: In the Noor Category Index we learned that halal compliance was most important for food brands, followed closely by beverage and personal care brands.

    - Islamic Branding efforts must be holistic: Consumers seek reassurance that any Islamic Branding initiatiative from a global brand is not tokenistic or a marketing ploy. Instead, they want to feel that the brand genuine understands and empathises with Islamic values in all aspects of their operations all over the world.

    If you’d like more information on the Noor Brand Index, please get in touch here.